Series: Essex Sisters #4
Published by Avon Books on November 28th 2006
FINAL DECISION: Entertaining and sweet redemption for women who are more pear shaped than fashionably thin, PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE provides a warm conclusion to the Essex Sisters quartet.
THE STORY: Miss Josie Essex has obtained the unfortunate nickname ‘the Scottish Sausage” because of her full figure. Abandoning the possibility of a traditional courtship, Josie is persuaded by family friend, the Earl of Mayne to throw away her ugly restrictive corset, obtain some clothes to flatter her curvy figure and realize the attractive possibilities of her own body. When Josie is almost ruined by a boorish rakehell, Mayne steps up to save her.
OPINION: I enjoyed this book precisely because Josie, the young woman with a poor self-image of herself, the woman who is taunted by bullies having been given the moniker “the Scottish Sausage” manages to claim the man who has gotten away from every woman in this series (including Josie’s own sisters). In this story, there is something especially lovely about the jaded Mayne falling for the lively youngest Miss Essex. Josie is not a stereotypical sweet gentle miss. She is tart and argumentative and simply wonderful.
I honestly am usually more interested in the hero than the heroine, but this book was one where I so identified with Josie that I focused on her journey. While she is young, I love how she is able to keep Mayne once she catches him. I loved her personality which is so different from the mousey wallflower one might suspect. She feels like an incredibly well rounded and complex character.
One of the interesting parts of this book is how James has Mayne and Josie fall in love in the quiet. There is no “ah, ha” moment. Yet, by the time the big moment comes at the end of the book, it is clear that these two are perfect for one another. Mayne has been bored with life, not truly engaging with life. Josie is so full of life, that she pulls Mayne with her.
My one quibble with the story is that I thought that Josie deserved a bit more in her happy ending with Mayne. After he had been matched with so many women, I would have liked something just a little more demonstrating his devotion to Josie alone.
There is also a secondary romance involving Mayne sister. I enjoyed that romance as well and it neatly wrapped up all the characters from the series.
WORTH MENTIONING: The epilogue has a little “in the future”
CONNECTED BOOKS: PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE is the fourth book in the Essex Sisters series. It can be read as a standalone but is a great culmination of everything that has happened in the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.